Protected, but Not Included? The Role of Workplace Inclusion for Sexual and Gender Minorities in the Federal Service


  • Anna Fountain Clark Drake University
  • Jiwon Suh University of Texas at Arlington
  • Kwang Bin Bae Dongguk University



Job Satisfaction, LGBT, Inclusion


The public workplace has traditionally been conceived of in heteronormative and cisnormative terms, wherein heterosexuality, the gender binary, and opposite-sex relationships are presumed and institutionalized in both word and deed. Recent policy changes and public opinion shifts regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals have placed an onus on employers to develop means to include sexual and gender minorities in the overall organizational culture and improve LGBT individuals’ workplace experiences. Using multilevel data analysis, this study focuses on how LGBT federal workers’ perceptions of inclusion at the agency, supervisory, and work unit levels affect their job satisfaction. The results indicate that LGBT employees’ inclusion perceptions play a moderating role between their sexual or gender minority identities and individual job satisfaction. The findings suggest that interventions aimed at developing an inclusive culture that reduces or eliminates traditional heteronormativity and cisnormativity, both agency-wide and at separate organizational levels, may improve job satisfaction among LGBT workers.

Author Biographies

  • Anna Fountain Clark, Drake University

    Anna Fountain Clark is an Assistant Professor of Public Administration in the College of Business and Public Administration at Drake University. Her research interests include diversity, equity, and inclusion in public and nonprofit organizations; public entrepreneurship and innovation; and nonprofit management and leadership.

  • Jiwon Suh, University of Texas at Arlington

    Jiwon Suh is an Assistant Professor of Public Affairs and Planning at the University of Texas at Arlington. Her research includes organizational behavior, performance and accountability, and HR management in the public and nonprofit sectors. She has published articles in several journals including Public Administration Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration, and Nonprofit Management & Leadership.

  • Kwang Bin Bae, Dongguk University

    Kwang Bin Bae is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Administration at Dongguk University, Seoul, Korea. His research interests are human resource management, performance management, and nonprofit management.






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